Whether you are a professional freelancer, or picking up work on the side, you should never underestimate the value of your freelance experience on your resume.
As a freelancer, you have surely developed an impressive skill set that companies seek, and you need to present it to them.
But as many freelancers, you might struggle to find the right way to do so.
In this article, we are going to help you out by answering the following questions:
- What is freelance work?
- Should you add freelance work to your resume?
- How to list freelance work on your resume?
And we are going to leave you off with some great tips and tricks to get the best result.
If you struggle with your overall resume performance, you should definitely check out our Resume Builder and create a unique and eye-catching design in no time.
But if you are ready to learn how to add freelance work to your resume, stick around.
What is freelance work?
Companies of all types and sizes can hire freelancers for different projects or tasks, but what exactly is a freelancer?
Typically, a freelancer is a person who possesses a high-level of skills and knowledge in a certain area.
They are working for a certain company for a period of time and on specific projects or tasks, so they are responsible for their own taxes, health insurance, pension and other personal contributions.
Should you add freelance work to your resume?
The short answer is yes, you should add freelance to your resume, and there are many reasons for that.
The main two reasons behind the value of your freelance work are:
- It shows versatility across multiples industries – that helps your potential client see that you are flexible and shows them that you can work in various niches with the same quality of work
- It demonstrates your ability to succeed outside traditional employment – while the skill sets of freelancers and full-time workers often overlap, some employers prefer to work with freelancers with proven experience on freelance projects. Listing past freelance projects demonstrates that you have been successful in meeting the needs of your past freelance clients
How to list freelance work on your resume?
When listing past freelance jobs in your work experience section, there are a few specific rules you need to follow to get it right.
Give yourself a job title that reflects the nature of your freelance work
The first thing you need to remember is that you need to treat your freelance work on your resume just like any other entry in your work experience section.
That’s why you need to give yourself the proper job title for the work you have done for each client.
The only difference here is that you would want to add the work “Contract”, “Consultant”, or “Freelance” to that job title.
Add the name of the company you have provided services for
Adding the names of the companies you have provided services for gives your past work more credibility in the eyes of potential clients.
Furthermore, your past clients can serve as an industry reference for your work, and if your potential client is in the same industry, you will be more likely to stand out from other candidates.
However, irrelevant freelance work should be removed from your resume, as it would only take up space and not contribute with any value.
Add the start and end dates of your freelance work
Listing your dates of freelance employment can help potential clients understand the scope and level of experience you have in a given industry.
Furthermore, these dates show how recently you have worked in the field, any employment gaps, and how long you usually stay with a single freelance opportunity.
The start and end dates of your freelance work can also strengthen your work experience section by showcasing long-term or repeat clients.
Provide a summary of the services you provided
There is a chance that your potential client would not be able to understand some of the freelance jobs you have had.
That’s why it is a great idea to provide a summary for each one. Otherwise, you might get passed over because of a misunderstanding.
Make sure you provide a brief explanation of the work you have done, and you can go one step further – quantify your results to impress your potential client.
Use bullet points
Just like in an entry for a traditional job in your work experience section, your freelance entries should also have a bullet list underneath them.
However, when it comes to freelance work, your bullet list should be filled with any important projects, clients, achievements, recognitions, awards, or positive results from your work.
Tips and tricks
And now, as promised, we have some great tips and tricks to get you extra ready.
Use clear language and be concise
Just like any other resume, you would want yours to be written in a professional tone, and to be mistake-free.
Another thing you would want to pay some extra attention to is not to use too many big words or industry jargon. That can potentially turn off the resume reader, and you would lose your chances.
You would want to reach the perfect balance between professional and knowledgeable, without going too far.
Last but not least, just like a traditional resume, make sure you keep it one page long.
Add clients as references, if possible
Past clients recommendations are one of the strongest tools you can use to boost up your resume performance in the freelance world.
An approval of your work from a past client would be a great sign for your potential client that you are the right person for the job.
Of course, don’t forget to ask permission to use your past client’s name as a reference before you do so, as you would not want them to be caught by surprise.
We are all done, now you know how to add freelance work to your resume.
Let’s go through a quick recap of the process:
- Give yourself a job title that reflects the work you have done for your client, and simply add “Contract”, “Consultant”, or “Freelance” to that job title
- Add the name of the company you have provided services for, as it would give more credibility to your resume, and it can also increase your chances in case that company is in the same field of work as your potential client
- Add the start and end date of your freelance work, so that your potential client can get a better understanding of your work history
- Provide a summary of the services you provided, as some of your freelance job titles might not be clear for all your potential clients, and you would not want to be dismissed due to a misunderstanding
- Use bullet points to highlight all the important aspects of your freelance work
Take one last look at our tips and tricks, and add your freelance work to your resume in the best possible way.